DAVID ANDERSON: Indiana board needs to explain decision
I am writing in response to the recent activity by the Indiana Area school board. Once again they are trying to make changes to our children’s schooling without explaining their actions.
During the meeting Monday, the school board discussed and set a vote to reorganize the elementary schools.
Before the next board meeting and scheduled vote on Oct. 28, I would like the members of the school board to explain why these changes are the best thing for our children and our district.
I would like them to address the following questions:
First, what are the space needs in the intermediate future? Is there a projected student enrollment for the next 5-10 years? How was it determined? What is the target class size? How many classrooms and teachers are needed? If we have too many classrooms, why are there still two “temporary classroom trailers” at Eisenhower after 20 years? At what point do we have too many students at the junior high? I think that determining the needs of the district is the most essential question.
Second, what would the actual cost savings be with the realignment? Would there be a reduction in faculty? Would there be a reduction in other operating costs? Would transportation costs increase?
Third, have you considered how splitting the elementary grades would affect local families? Assuming the same school hours, how can a parent be at both schools at the same time?
Finally, would this reorganization be better for the students? What is the reasoning? Is it better to have children going to the same school as their siblings? Is it better to have a mix of age groups?
I don’t have the answer to these questions, and I am open to any solution if it is fully thought out and makes sense.
Before any vote is taken, the school board should consider all of these questions, consider the complete economic and educational picture, and explain their decision to the people of the district.